"Our best away performance for 3 seasons". That was the verdict of Director of Rugby Andy Knowles after he watched Wigan dismantle 2nd place Winnington Park at Burrows Hill.
Despite the handicap of 3 late withdrawals Wigan were on the front foot for much of the game and effectively stifled Winnington's driving forward game. The omens looked good from the 2nd minute when Andy Whittle's delicate chip into the in-goal area was grounded by livewire winger, Martin Gambles
, whose pace took him to the ball first. Whittle converted from under the posts.
5 minutes later Gambles doubled his tally as he stepped his way through following good handling by the 2 Sam
's, Gee and Heeley. Again Whittle converted.
Despite dominating territorially Wigan failed to increase their lead until a minute before the break when they counter-attacked from a Winnington clearance. Gambles and Gee both made inroads before releasing Will
Boardman who coasted over.
12 minutes after the restart, and with the score at 19-0, another Whittle chip exposed the Winnington defence and gave wing Jon Blan a simple touchdown once he had gathered the ball.
From this point the game became somewhat scrappy and Wigan were guilty of over-elaboration which led to errors. The only highlight was a brilliant 50 metre break by Will
Boardman who was hauled down just short. Eventually Winnington got back into the game with 2 tries in the last quarter, both of which were avoidable.
Though the backs monopolised the scoring they would be the first to admit that without the selfless efforts of the pack they would not have had the opportunity.
Next week Douglas Valley Will
be the focus of attention as neighbours Orrell are the visitors. Interest in the game is such that Wigan have sold 120 places at the pre-match lunch and a sizeable crowd is expected.